“Whatever you do, just don't let him notice you're a woman!” General beliefs on women's gender ideology as a function of topic in mixed‐gender negotiations

Claudia‐Neptina Manea, Stéphanie Demoulin, Vincent Yzerbyt
Published Online:
22 Sep 2020
Volume/Issue No:
Volume 56 Issue 3

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How one approaches gender differences in general likely influences the way one handles mixed‐gender negotiations. In the present paper, we examine general beliefs on how women negotiators do—as opposed to how they “should”—handle gender in order to increase their chances of success. First, we hypothesised that people's general beliefs would support a sexblindness ideology according to which gender is, and indeed should be, ignored in order to succeed. Second, because negotiation comes across as a stereotypically masculine activity, we predicted that prescriptions regarding what women should do to succeed would commonly favour assimilationism (the belief that women need to assimilate to male norms) over sexawareness (the belief that gender differences should be acknowledged and celebrated). We nevertheless predicted a general belief that women might stay away from these prescriptions and rely more on their gender (i.e. endorse sexawareness over assimilationism) within feminine as compared to masculine and neutral‐topic negotiations. Together, our two experiments confirm these predictions. We discuss our results in terms of the consequences on women's gender ideology‐based strategies, a potentially relevant aspect to their actual negotiating outcomes.

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